The odds are hardly ever fair for small businesses. If a hundred small businesses open in an average economic landscape: only around 80 will make it past their first year; 56 will reach their second year; 28 will reach their fifth year; and around 8 or 9 businesses will live past their 10th year. Not the best odds for small business owners, and even worse when you consider the economic toll COVID-19 is bringing.
With as much as 7.5 million small businesses closing down due to the economic effects of the pandemic, many small business owners are doing what they can to stay afloat. Some of these options may not be ideal for business owners. But if they want to soften the blow that the pandemic does to their business, it may be necessary for start-ups and small business owners to take note.
Outsource Your Workforce
There are some types of businesses that cannot outsource and need an in-house team, but for those that can, there are plenty of financial advantages from doing so. It is much more cost-efficient to outsource your operations rather than hire your own in-house team of employees. Aside from the salary (in contrast, outsourcing only requires you to pay for the labor produced), there are also the costs of finding employees, providing for their tools and equipment (outsourcing companies already provide these), renting an office for your employees, and the time and money wasted on bad hires.
What people usually say about cost and quality doesn’t necessarily apply to outsourcing. With the right company, you can get quality business development outsourcing services that can drive revenue and customer satisfaction without sacrificing costs. Outsourcing companies adhere to global standards that provide professional services to benefit your company.
Remove, Replace, or Downgrade
During these tough times, your employees may understand if you need to take away, downgrade, or replace with a cheaper option some of the things in the office to cut costs. For example, under OSHA regulations, it’s required that companies provide their employees with potable water. You can’t cut back on drinking water, but you can remove coffee, tea, or even free food in your office pantry as it’s more of a perk than a requirement. Or, to avoid a drastic drop in morale, switch your regular coffee to a cheaper kind.
This method of removing, replacing, or downgrading your expenses can apply to recurring costs like rent (e.g. renting a smaller office or letting your employees work from home) and software subscriptions (downgrade or find free versions), as well as one-time costs like company events that aren’t necessary. Your employees will understand, given the current situation, and if possible, try to assure them that things may slowly go back to normal if your business can weather through the effects of the pandemic.
Move Your Sales Online
With less people going outside, businesses that aren’t online are at a disadvantage. But by building an online store and selling online, you can drive sales and revenue to keep your business going. Small businesses can set up a store on Etsy, Shopify, or any e-commerce platform available and applicable to their area. For food businesses, you can opt to have your own delivery service or you can tie-up with Uber Eats or Doordash to have your food delivered.
But starting your online store isn’t enough: you will also have to market your business and reach out to your target audience. If done right, you can see the sales trickle in and help your business stay afloat.
Right now, the pandemic-stricken economy is taking its toll on millions of small businesses. Now is the time for you to tighten your belt, cut costs where you can, and tough it out for as long as possible for the sake of your business.